So, EHS compliance management has some new technology friends. The cloud. Software as a Service (SaaS). EHS digital transformation. They’re all “new” EHS solutions for things like environmental compliance, and their compatibility is showing up in the form of automation, digital data, more efficient reporting processes, and smarter ways of working and solving problems.
In regulated industries of all kinds, organizations and their EHS compliance teams are taking notice.
As EHS solutions go, EHS operations are learning SaaS is a mature technology that’s been widely adopted because of its simplicity and versatility: An organization can implement a SaaS solution in days and quickly deploy it to distributed locations and facilities. Users on EHS teams can work from anywhere on any device, and automatically get the latest app releases and use the newest functionality. To control costs, the organization pays for SaaS on a managed-cost subscription basis per user or workgroup.
Businesses are also discovering the possibilities of digital transformation for EHS compliance management. As we said in our related blogs (see links below), they’re finding out this EHS digital transformation and its cloud computing framework can help them solve problems in creative new ways using new EHS solutions that drive digital data.
The next step for an organization is finding a technology vendor who can help it bring compliance management, the cloud and EHS digital transformation together. A partner who continues to redefine EHS solutions through industry knowledge, thought leadership, and innovation
Invest in the partnership, not just technology
Rule #1: Technology moves forward quickly — and constantly. Rule #2: To help your business get started and steer it through changes, having an established, trusted partnership with a tech vendor is vital. The strongest partnerships are formed when the vendor:
- Understands your business and its immediate and long-term objectives for EHS compliance management — knowing every situation is unique.
- Comprehends your business’s culture, inner workings, and how and where compliance and sustainability fit in.
- Analyzes your compliance processes and weighs new functionality to make them better, in line with your business objectives. This should be a continual customer success process.
- Structures your solution based on your requirements, not one size fits all. The vendor should further report on compliance industry trends for EHS digital transformation, cloud technologies and other similar EHS solutions.
- Defines the scope, timeline, projected cost, ROI, and other factors of your solution accurately.
- Orchestrates the implementation, onboarding and admin process for your EHS solutions and associated technologies.
- Helps your organization and employees with change management, system and user administration, training, and ongoing support.
- Exercises transparent lines of communication, and responsiveness, with key EHS compliance stakeholders and executive leadership.
And let’s be honest. How often do effective business partnerships come down to personal aspects? It’s not surprising that shared interests and personalities often carry more influence in building a tech vendor partnership than the actual solution does.
Vendor side, the best tech providers play to their strengths and know their limits. They don’t try to be everything to everybody, and provide the right technology fit by being “simple” and “agile.” Within the EHS compliance management sector, this is why vendors who focus on simplistic cloud technologies like SaaS and the agility of EHS digital transformation are best fits.
Where is a vendor on the innovation scale?
Technology itself is inherently innovative, and most tech companies consider themselves to be “innovative.” So that part of the scale is a wash. The more important thing is whether you partner with a vendor whose technology roadmap leads your organization to its own innovation success.
Ironically, the innovation strategies of an organization often depend on vendor products that are still in the invention stage or still evolving themselves. We’ll say it again. Technology moves forward quickly and constantly, which makes it vital to always know what a strategic tech partner is developing.
If the tech company isn’t gigantic and full of red tape, chances are also good your organization has direct access to the developers who created the solution you use. This translates both to a more direct line of support and often to a suggestion box for new functionality. If users see something that might add value to a solution, their suggestions can many times lead to the development of new features. As far as innovation goes, this is practical and collaborative inventiveness at its finest.
Just don’t be an organization whose procurement processes (and politics) inhibit an innovation partnership with a tech vendor. It can distract from a mindset that could drive truly valuable advances in your business’s technology solutions.
Trust and transparency
Final word here. You should have the utmost confidence in any technology company and its leaders and people. Substantiate the company’s reputation and its breadth and depth of experience. Read industry reviews, customer case studies, and talk to customers whose situation is similar to yours. After all, trust and transparency are the underlying keys to building a successful partnership and then maintaining it.
A tech company’s stability matters, too. What do you know about how they started and their journey? Their philosophy? Do you have visibility of who the shareholders or investors are and the company’s financial standing? Are you confident they’ll still be around in 5 years? Do your homework and ask questions.
“Encamp CEO Luke Jacobs spent years working with Fortune 10 companies to streamline their environmental compliance programs. To streamline the compliance process, he wrote software that increased accuracy, ensured environmental compliance, and boosted efficiency by cutting out costly and repetitive tasks. He understood the inefficiencies and gaps in current EHS solutions and knew that companies deserved better…
“At High Alpha, we believe that in spaces with known rules and parameters, software will outperform and underprice human competition. Regulatory compliance, monitoring, and management lend itself well to augmentation and automation via cloud solutions … Encamp has become the largest third-party filer of EPCRA Tier II reporting in the country because of this.”